NorthWest MogFest 2017


NorthWest MogFest 2017

We love off road vehicles of all types, they come in all shapes, sizes and styles. One of the most unique events to visit and see some of the most relatively obscure vehicle selections in the USA is Northwest MogFest held in Sheridan Oregon. Although this event is meant to be primarily a celebration of all things Unimog, it has over time developed into the central meeting hub in the northwest for all European 4×4 and off road vehicles. People tend to travel from all over the country to the Waldersee Farm to experience this awesome event.

On our way to the event we just happened to be on the same road as Barry (@pacificbikerguy on IG), owner of #Voldomo, a very cool Volvo C303. We couldn’t resist following him to the event, we managed to get a little road going footage from our Rigid Industries Capture; so check out the footage!

Isn’t the ground clearance on this thing just incredible???

We are fortunate to have one of the organizers of this event on the Axial Team, Mr. Ryan Gerrish. He has been telling us about this event for years, it just so happens that this year we were able to drop in on the event and see what it was all about. This year’s event theme is “Halloween in Mogust”, so we couldn’t even imagine what we were going to see there, especially with Ryan Gerrish on site!

Yes…. Those are Axial electronics!!

When you arrive at the Waldersee Farm, you are greeted by Barbara or Maren where you must sign in. This is not an event where you pay your entry fee, show up and report to your designated camp space. Instead, you must register (email and ask permission to attend) and then are asked if you would like to donate upon entry. The suggested donation was $10 per person per day. We happily doubled that figure (for two persons) and rolled onto the property in our humbled Subaru. We were definitely out of place with our Subaru (being a Japanese car), although it was unique enough to receive the nod of approval from a few of the already settled guests.

Ryan Gerrish came out to greet us and gave us a little tour, so we turned on the Go-Pro once again and rolled in to check it out. This 100 acre property has a beautiful river running at its edge, offering an awesome place to get out of the heat, do a little swimming and relax.

The Event
This is a private event held on private property. It is set up that way, allowing Jim Molloy and family the option of banishment, should it be necessary. It is a great idea, as people who have paid their $$$ for an event tend to have a sense of entitlement. You won’t find that type of person in attendance here, but instead a light hearted, fascinating group of hardcore off road enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to wheel the piss out of their odd vehicles. There is something to do every day, all day.

Here is a shot of Jim we managed to capture, with him on his Usal sidecar….
Love this guy! (Thanks for the “Euro Pass” Jim!!)

There is a backhoe contest for men, women, and children to participate in, where one must touch a few 5 gallon buckets with the backhoe bucket, and then return it to start position. AxialFest volunteer (and noob backhoe operator), “B” decided to give it a go, and we caught it on video. It is awesome that one of the Mog owners lets anyone and everyone who wants to try it, dive right in!

The Pit
The highlight of the event is always the “pit”. The pit is a long trench that is dug out through the middle of the property with ditches and moguls everywhere. This playground is open from sunrise to midnight, though it really comes to life at night. You can find almost everyone in attendance lined up on one side of the pit watching and participating in the mayhem until it closes down for the night. We were floored to see how much the vehicles on site were used and tested to their absolute limits. These rigs are being used for their intended purpose which is awesome to watch!

Our Subaru gets a Euro Pass
In order to participate in the pit shenanigans, you have to have a European vehicle unless you are granted a special “Euro Pass”, which usually means you have a Euro vehicle, but, not with you at the event. Very few of these passes are given away. We were fortunate enough to have parked near the gathering spot during the rules speech given by Jim, he used our Subaru as an example of the vehicles not allowed in the pit, and immediately following his example, he said our Forester was pretty cool and offered us one of the coveted “3 pointed star” passes! The pass consisted of mounting a huge Mercedes emblem on the hood or grill, and (more formally) a special yellow tag. We happily fastened it and were stoked to be accepted!

With being granted the special pass we had to drive down to the river and try the pit, right!?!?!?!

Expedition Trucks
Some of the vehicles on site were awesome to check out in more detail. The large Expedition type builds are always fascinating to us, so we ventured to their camping locations to get a couple of shots. One day we will have one of these to take to all the Axial events around the country! Here are some fine examples of our dream!

The stars of this show are the Unimogs. These rigs are so capable they will blow your mind! Described by some to be clunky and tractor like, you cannot deny their ability to conquer almost any terrain. They come in so many differing shapes and sizes, every style and taste is displayed with pride.

We did manage to get a little video of these portal axle giants in the pit showing their stuff. Very cool to see how easily they go wherever their owners point them.

Check out this very cool Jeep JK, that rides on a Unimog Chassis, talk about a sleeper! It was the only vehicle to our knowledge that actually came out of that mud hole under its own power.

Syncro Vans
Another fairly large group of vehicles in attendance were the VW Syncro guys. Man, these little campers are not just compact and very cool, but also their drivers wheel the living daylights out of them! Equipped with lockers and no fear, some of these rigs (and their drivers) can attack the most hardcore of terrain. We wish we had gotten some more photos and videos of these rigs, but with so much to see and do, we captured what we could… Maybe Rodney will have to come capture photos and video of them in action next year!

Speaking of VW’s, check out this little extremely rare vehicle. It is called the Iltis, or Type 183, which we believe is the replacement for the Type 181, or VW “Thing”…..

What in the world is that thing, and where can we get one? Those were our words when we first discovered this Star Wars themed Pinzgauer. Love the style of this rig, and it is pretty damn capable too!

Steyr Puch Haflinger
The Pinzgauer’s little bother, the Haflinger, has become one of our favorite vehicles from this event. These little 11’ long, 5’ wide, fully independent suspension rigs with portals are awesome! Did we mention they have locking front and rear diffs? We didn’t know that at first, but when you lock them up, they’ll go anywhere! It was fun watching guys try to make climbs without the lockers engaged, made for some good laughs and good fun!

Crazy cool rigs
There were so many other cool vehicles on site, including a plethora of Land Rovers (always capable), Steyr Puch G-Class wagons, Volvos and a few we have never seen before, even a Subaru van with swamp donkey tires on it :)… We snapped a few shots.

Our Favorite, #Voldomo

Driven all the way from San Diego! Beautiful Volvo C303

No idea what the next two are, but very cool regardless!

These are always cool to check out!

We’ve seen the above GWagon at KOH once before!

Those Defenders though….

And this Subaru Van!

Those moments
This event is awesome for so many reasons. This is a place where anyone who owns one of these unique vehicles can get together with other owners and learn the limits of their rigs. Sometimes that process is painless; sometimes it hurts a little more. We caught a few of those instances on film, check it out!

Go to NorthWest MogFest 2018!!!
All in all, this has been an incredible experience. Coming from a Jeep/Subaru background, it was really cool to see how these vehicles are celebrated. The people are what really make this event what it is. We experienced so much kindness, acceptance and openness from everyone we spoke with. The on-site breakfast, lunch, and dinner were extremely good every day and quite inexpensive for what you get served! The jambalaya dish in particular was an inexplicably epic meal, you’ll just have to try for yourself. I’d fly half way around the world just to have this annual iconic dish on Saturday night.

The whole voluntary crew and staff do a great job facilitating an awesome group of people. The Waldersee Farm is a beautiful place to come and visit, the rigs are unique and awesome and the people are the salt of the Earth. Gerrish was right, we have been missing out!

Fore more information about future Northwest MogFest events, please check out

Desert Turtle Racing Finishes 4th at the Fallon 250

As a new team, we have only been able to participate in a few races and the 2017 Fallon 250 marks just our 4th race. In what little time we had to work on and prep the Turtle we were able to slam in a new motor from Jonny Lightning and a new transmission from Toy Shop Transmission thanks to the help of Marina Landscape Inc. The schedule got very tight at the end of the motor swap and we were only able to get the rig out for a quick test on Sunday in the desert before we had to leave for Fallon on Thursday. The motor and transmission were running great but we found we had a bit of an electrical gremlin which would cause the Ignition to cut out as the engine would heat up. On Monday and Tuesday, along with loading up everything we would need for the race, we also did what we could by replacing fuses and relays; and check our power and ground anchors. We were out of time to prep the rig and could only hope we fixed the issue until we were able to test the rig again up in Fallon.

We arrived on-site Thursday and were able to get a pit space marked off on the upper level next to some other great friends and teams. We quickly discovered that most of the teams were all traveling with a light crew so everyone agreed to help each other out when the cars rolled in for pits during the race. We took the rig out for our initial test and the electrical problem seemed to be fixed.

We brought the rig back to the pits and used the rest of Thursday to prep for pre-running and qualifying on Friday. The morning of Friday came and we suited up in the rig to head out and get a couple laps in around the 41-mile lap. We used this time to mark hazards on the GPS and explore alternate lines for passing options. After a successful two laps of the course we had our notes made and hazards marked, it was time to look over the rig and prepare for the drivers meeting and qualifying run.

As we looked over the rig we noticed there was a crack in the tube frame just after the front track-bar mount. This crack was not little it was all the way around the tube and would cause a massive failure if we did not get it fixed. We scrambled around a bit to figure out the best plan to get it fixed. We reached out to Savvy Off Road for assistance and they were very kind to lend us the use of their tools and trailer to get our rig patched up and ready for qualifying. As it was our turn to go for the run we knew we just needed a clean run, the ruts were deep and the turns were blown out. Our focus was to get through the course as best we could and accept whatever time we got. We were able to pull off a better than expected run at 1:29:40, which landed us in 27th for the starting order/ 7th in class. We were happy with our position but knew we were going to have to do some work to move up during the race.

IMG_2531Race day arrived and we were up early and eager to get in the rig and put the hammer down. We handled a couple last minute prep items and covered some pit strategies with the crew.



Rolling up to the green flag, for us, seems to still bring a bit of the jitters but we take this time to briefly discuss what it took, as a team, to get us here on the line and are thankful for everyone’s effort. BUT as soon as the green flag drops, it’s game on and we are pedal to the metal.The visibility on the course was the worst we have seen; the dust was so thick you could not see past the front bumper on the rig and there was no wind to blow the dust away.

We charged hard on the course maintaining what we felt was race pace, things were going good for several miles and then, WHAM, we clipped a boulder that had obviously fallen into the course; it wasn’t there during our pre-run. It popped the driver front tire and now we were left figuring out what was the best plan to get it changed.

Do we continue to drive it or do we take the time to change it? We drove for another few miles and decided that we should take it out before it takes us out. We pulled over around RM 8, changed the flat and got back into the race. Something like 8 vehicles passed us due to the tire change and we knew we would have to make up some ground and run some clean laps. As we completed lap 1 we called into pits for a tire swap and a splash of gas while we were there. We peeled out for lap 2 knowing that we really needed a fast lap and so we picked up the pace.

About this time, we started to notice that we were NOT having any electrical issues with the ignition and the new motor was just screaming along non-stop. The issue we did notice was that the navigation system was starting to power cycle intermittently as was hindering us from 100% navigation. The navigation system is extremely important when the visibility is extremely bad and having it go out was like driving with your eyes closed and navigating by berms in the road… NOT COOL.

However, we dealt with it and continued to battle and push the rig harder each lap. Through lap2 we had a clean run but suffered another flat due to the rugged terrain and sharp rocks but this one was on the rear and was changed out by the crew in the pits where they also gave us a fair amount of fuel.

We were able to gain some ground by passing a few other cars on course and taking note as we saw a few broken and off the course. Finishing Lap 3, we opted to stop in the pits for a quick look over the car to make sure there were no obvious issues and the crew was able to spot another tire losing air so the crew changed it out and we were off and running. As we approached the end of lap 4 we called into pits that we were going to come in and take on a full tank of gas and plan on running the last two laps without another stop. The crew filled the rig, looked it over and sent us back out as quick as could be. Throughout the race day we could feel that we were getting faster in several places throughout the course and were able to make more passes. On the sixth lap, we had quite a bit of clean air and were able to make a few more passes before the finish line. Crossing the finish line and taking the CHECKER flag felt great. It’s been a while since we raced and we were stoked to be back in the seats and battling it out with the other racers. We finished the Ultra4 Fallon 250 in 5:49:04 which placed us 4th in class and 16th overall. Without the hard work of our crew, Rob Bukacek, Trevis Sloan and Mike Bishop, and the joint effort of other teams, we would not have been able to pull off 4th place or finish for that matter.

Special thanks go to Savvy Off Road, Dan Wyrick and friends, the crew of Gigabit Off Road, the crew of Jimmy Jack and a couple other lending hands from Proving Grounds Racing. At the end of the day we are a dirt family. We all want to be a winner but the efforts of the crews is what makes it a family.

Thanks to our sponsors that have made the racing opportunity possible. Rock Krawler Suspension | Pro Comp Tires | Marina Landscape | Axial Racing | Poison Spyder Customs | Raceline Wheels | DJ Safety | Fuel Safe | Rugged Radios | J. E. Reel | Rugged Routes | Lasernut | Currie Enterprises | Magnaflow | CTM Racing | sPOD | Artec Industries | PRP Seats | Luxwurx | Sharq Skinz | DGP Motion Media 

Additional thanks to these supporters. So Cal Land Maintenance | Enet | Beachview Insurance | Pacific Advisors | SoCal Services | Armeda | Villa Root Barrier | Sucuri | Imperial Sprinkler Supply | Rain Bird 

Renegade Rock Runners 2017 – 2018 SORRCA Series Sponsored by Axial RC

Axial Racing is proud to announce that we are working closely with the Renegade Rock Runners in presenting their first scale RC series of six events starting October 7th, 2017 and running to May 26, 2018 here in southern California.

The Renegade Rock Runners are adopting the SORRCA rules for their series as popularity of “scale” competition continues to increase. In the fall of 2010  the formation of the Scale Off Road RC Association, aka: SORRCA, was created to provide a common set of rules and guidelines for everyone interested in holding competitions with scale off road RC vehicles. By following a single common set of rules, people from around the world are able to attend competitions knowing how the judges will be scoring them.

Renegade Rock Runners 2018 SORRCA Series
Sponsored by Axial Racing & Proline Racing


The individuals who make of the club Renegade Rock Runners from the greater Los Angeles area of southern California are inviting the other crawler clubs and individuals out to a series of events to unite the scale scene within the RC hobby for some friendly scale off road vehicle competitions.

The series will be made of of 6-events following SORRCA Rules with 4 different classes; Class 1, Class 2, Class 2.5 (Box Stock Class), and Class 3. Each class will run 2 different lines at each event. $10 per entry per class. Points for scale items, so be sure to make your rigs as scale as possible! We will be hosting a large raffle at the final event, also known as the “Renegade Rock Runners 2018 AXIALFEST-SHAKE-DOWN-RUN”.

There will also be a Concourse hosted and judged by Knight Customs.  All are welcome to join in on the fun! For further information please check out the Facebook group that has been created for this. All up to date event details can be found there, and on the clubs website, at
Facebook Group Link —>

Dates and locations:
1] Oct 7 – Lake Forest / Dimensions
2] Dec 3 - Horseman’s Park – Apple Valley
3] Jan 6 – Simi Valley / Flanagan’s
4] Feb 24 – Palmdale / TBD
5] Mar 31 – Orange County / TBD
6] May 26 – Santa Clarita / Vasquez Rocks


Any and all questions can be left in the Facebook group, or e-mailed to